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January 4, 2010

FSU defeats the Islanders by 40

Photo Gallery: Florida State vs. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi

Leonard Hamilton was watching Saturday as his team's next opponent, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, gave the No. 2 team in the country all it could handle.

After seeing the Islanders fall just short at Texas, Hamilton knew his team couldn't afford to overlook them, even with Atlantic Coast Conference play looming on the horizon.

And while a date with the Maryland Terrapins is just days away, the Seminoles gave the Islanders their full attention Monday night, cruising to an easy 94-54 victory in front of 5,576 fans at the Tucker Center.

"It was obvious that we had to be really prepared to play against a team that was hungry, athletic, and quick, and kind of on a mission," Hamilton said. "We realized that we had to take this team very seriously. I thought the respect that we had for how well they had played against Texas was a direct reflection of how focused we were at the beginning of the game."

The Islanders (5-8) took No. 2 Texas to the brink, but never gave Florida State reason worry. The Seminoles, who checked in at No. 18 in this week's AP Top 25, scored the contest's first 10 points and held a 16-2 advantage just minutes into the game.

FSU (13-2) terrorized the Islanders from three-point range, knocking down 12-of-24 from beyond the arc, and finished the game having shot 34-of-59 (64.5 percent) from the field.

Sophomore Deividas Dulkys posted a team-high 17 points and hit 5-of-9 3-pointers, while Chris Singleton added another 13 points and seven rebounds for FSU.

"We had to, Coach said, just throw the first punch," said Dulkys, who led the 'Noles in scoring for the second straight game. "Coach was preaching about the Texas game…that Texas wasn't ready. So we tried to come out and execute and run and hit the first punch, and we did it…I don't think they were expecting that."

Tuesday's game marked the end of a three-game stretch in which the Seminoles faced the likes of Tennessee-Martin and Alabama A&M, and won all three games by an average of 38 points.

Now, with warm-ups officially over, FSU begins a period of 15-straight conference games to close out the regular season. The Seminoles will travel to Maryland on Sunday before playing North Carolina State, Virginia Tech, and Georgia Tech at home.

"I'm not sure that you can prepare yourself for that atmosphere that we're going to face when we go to Maryland," Hamilton said. "That's not something that we can simulate in practice."


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